Architecture and the Inspiration of the Museum

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Virginia Tech


Architecture exists through human experience. As the product of the relationship between a building and a person, architecture gains meaning when it is viewed and contemplated by an individual moving throughout a building. Architecture simultaneously engages the body and mind of one who experiences it, and its intentions become visible through a continuous weaving of motion through situations that constitute a place. My thesis examines the interplay between architecture and human action.

Manifest in the following thesis are explorations of the institution of the museum. From its earliest forms to its present day forms, the museum has undergone many changes due to a number of influences. In this thesis I will look at the cultural dynamics that shape museums. Specifically, my critique will be through the lens of its cultural history, my own culturally based observations, and through a design: the demonstration.

One objective of this thesis is to revive the idea of the museum as a place of the muses, where the muses inspire those people who experience the place. I have selected Charleston and its historic setting for the project location of a Museum. This is a place where one might participate in a journey of initiation, education, and cultivation. Through design, I demonstrate a museum, which aims to initiate and encourage self-cultivation by one's experience of the objects in the museum and the space that surrounds the objects. It is perhaps through a perusal of objects contained without authoritative concepts applied that one may acquire knowledge and become inspired.



matrix, institution, Hunley submarine, artifacts, Charleston, Architecture, muses, museum